“How do I fix my reputation after my ex spread lies about me?”

After dating for a year and a half, my Ex broke up with me back in June without much explanation other than “we just aren’t compatible.” We have many mutual friends and acquaintances in our small town. After a couple of months I started dating another girl my ex is jealous of. … After Ex found out I was dating New Girl, Ex spread lies verbally and in writing around the social scene about me and New Girl, which caused a degree of social alienation. Also, it appears that Ex was actually involved with someone before we broke up. I want her friends to know that she manipulated and used them. I’m extremely happy in my new relationship but I’m still really angry at being deceived and having a significant portion of the local community … shun us because of her. What should I do?

I don’t have a pleasant answer for you.

You should just get over it. You behaved honorably, and you found out too late that your Ex is a liar, a slanderer, a cheater and a malicious manipulator.

Even though she caused you trouble, time will heal it. Just keep being a good guy and a good boyfriend in your new relationship. Reputations are hurt and they take time to rebuild, but there’s nothing you can actively do.

If you try to spread word of the truth, it will be taken as slander and sour grapes and backfire. No one cares about this as much as you do, so bringing it up would be a bad idea.

I have to say I’m not really buying your suggestion that you just want her friends to know they were manipulated. What you want is revenge, which is natural.

But if her friends were your friends, they would 1) have faith in you and not believe lies, 2) ask you for your side. Either way, they would have tried to find a way to stay friends. They didn’t. Chalk them up as having poor character, too.

Enjoy your new girl. Be good to her and your friends. Let Ex self-destruct. Because believe me, she will. Sooner or later.

Karma is a bitch, and I’ve seen it manifest itself many times.

Let it go, for your own health and happiness. In the meantime, hold your head up and good luck getting though this rough patch. 🙂


About amywinns

Semi-snarky, semi-sincere, occasionally ranting, always paying attention. Feminist who can work a skirt and crack a joke. Grammar nerd who is also fun at parties. Mid-career writer/editor with 15 years’ experience in newspapers & magazines who now helps developers at a major media corporation communicate with the suits who write the checks. Pro-women, pro-family, pro-choice, pro-workingclass, pro-entrepreneur, pro-farmer. Like every other bourgeois Brooklynite, I choose local/organic/raw food — mostly vegetables — whenever possible/reasonable/affordable but I’m not a smug asshole about it. Hometown: Atlanta. Weird hobby: lindy hop. No pets, no kids, no thanks.
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